Part 2: Internal Conversations that Sabotage Our Efforts
In part 1, I looked at developing a Harmony Schedule for balancing your new business with a full-time job. In this blog, I examine one of the biggest obstacles in starting a business while holding a full time job; it has nothing to do with financial statements, but has everything to do with what we tell ourselves.
I come home from a long day at work and then sit in front of the computer ready to write a marketing plan. My internal dialogue tells me, “relax, take it easy, you earned it.” Two hours later, all I’ve accomplished are looking at deals for a trip I’m planning to Budapest.
I can justify this action as “I just didn’t feel like doing my marketing plan.” After all, I set my schedule and as a budding entrepreneur, I can decide when I do something, can’t I? Leo Babauta, in his blog, Zen Habits, says that mood is a poor indicator of whether you should do something. Doing whatever you feel like is not what it means to run a business. I would argue that the most successful entrepreneurs are those who pushed past their comfort zone.
When we start to pay attention to our internal dialogue, we see that it is not always walking in the same direction we are. Here are typical self-talks we have with ourselves and ways to re-focus and stay motivated:
Internal conversation: “I’m not good at cash flow or with numbers.” Response: “All I have to do is take the first small step. Once I start, I’ll be glad I did. Who says it needs to be perfect?”
Internal conversation: “Just this once won’t hurt.” Response: “Yes, ‘just this once’ does hurt. Let’s not fall for our old thinking traps.”
Internal conversation: “I need to take it easy:” Response: “Right now I need to stay focused. I have been presented with a great opportunity and a great idea.”
Internal conversation: “I need a break:” Response: “I need a short break. I’ll give myself 15 minutes to go and grab a snack, then get back to work – wonderful projects await me.”
Of course our bodies and minds do need breaks. In my experience one of the biggest reasons we sabotage our efforts is because we have nothing to look forward to during the week. Your body and mind need rejuvenation and inspirational breaks. These breaks don’t have to be long but knowing they have been scheduled ahead of time will allow you realize that a reward awaits you when you accomplish something that you consider a challenge. You are developing new habits.
See my blog post on the Harmony Schedule to give you a better understanding on how to create a system that will minimize feeling overwhelmed.
Think of it this way – if my internal conversation is telling me to take it easy, I can rebuff it in a way that is compassionate but only if I have scheduled time to rejuvenate during the week. I can remind “it” that I did plan for fun and down time. But if I haven’t, I will eventually sabotage my efforts because “it” knows I’m cheating.
Hope and sabotage are two sides of the same coin. In part three I will discuss what to do when things have slowed down or even come to a halt: The Power of Recommitment.
Written By: Dominik Loncar, Futurpreneur Canada Entrepreneur-in-Residence, firstname.lastname@example.org
Read part three of this series here.